The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.
Manuel Calloquispe has faced an angry mob laying siege to his house, been called a traitor, been punched and kicked by miners, and had his equipment stolen. He once had to duck for cover when someone threw a machete at him. Yet, for more than a decade, the Peruvian freelance journalist has reported on the environmental havoc caused by the illegal extraction of gold from his childhood home in the Amazon rainforest, in eastern Peru.
Environmental reporting is a dangerous beat, and the Amazon, which encompasses parts of Peru and several other South American countries, is an increasingly lawless area where journalists face constant risk due to the lack of law enforcement and poor infrastructure. In 2022, British freelance journalist Dom Phillips went missing while on a research trip with Indigenous issues expert Bruno Pereira, and their remains were found with gunshot wounds 10 days later.
➡️ Read CPJ’s new feature detailing Calloquispe’s commitment to covering the Amazon amid these risks.
Separately, after police searched the office of the Marion County Record in Kansas, seizing the newsroom’s computers, file servers, and reporters’ personal cellphones, the paper’s four-person newsroom scrambled to release its next weekly edition. They worked until 5 a.m. to get the paper to the printer, with the headline: “SEIZED…but not silenced.”
On August 19, CPJ attended the funeral of Joan Meyer, the co-owner of the newspaper, who collapsed and passed away following the police raid of her newspaper, her house, and her son’s home. She was remembered for her historical knowledge of Marion, her work at the paper, and her belief that people, if informed, would do the right thing.
The county attorney later acknowledged there was insufficient evidence to support the warrant and police raid, and police returned the seized equipment.
🔎 For more: Read CPJ’s interview with Sherman Smith, editor-in-chief of the Kansas Reflector, to better understand the local context of the raid.
- CPJ joins call for investigation into police treatment of Brazilian journalist Danielle Zampollo
- CPJ condemns eight-year sentence for Nicaraguan journalist Victor Ticay
- India blocks social media accounts of Gaon Savera news outlet ahead of workers’ convention, as well as social media accounts and website of The Kashmir Walla
- Chinese publisher Lü Hua charged with extortion after reporting on alleged corruption
- Taliban detains Iranian photojournalist Mohammad Hossein Velayati in Afghanistan
- Algerian prosecutor requests three-year sentence for journalist Mustapha Bendjama
- Egyptian journalist Karim Asaad’s whereabouts unknown following arrest, and authorities arrest father of freelance journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada
- Iranian documentary filmmaker Mojgan Ilanlou detained in Evin Prison
- Kazakh journalist Diana Saparkyzy assaulted while covering mining deaths
- Russia fails to renew Dutch and Finnish journalists’ visas and accreditation
- Two Somali journalists arrested for reporting on police, one remains in custody
CPJ is calling for the protection of journalists in Bangladesh ahead of a review by the United Nations through a joint submission to the U.N. alongside Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the Asian Legal Resource Centre.
Bangladesh authorities are increasingly attempting to silence the media through arbitrary detention, legal harassment, and censorship. The submission, sent for the 44th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group scheduled for November, documents impunity in cases of killings and abductions of journalists, violence against members of the press in custody, and the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail in February 2021.
Read the full submission here.
- With local news under direct assault, our politics and towns suffer — Art Cullen, The Boston Globe
- Elon Musk’s shadow rule — Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker
- The à la carte world: Our new geopolitical order — Alec Russell, Financial Times
- Dangerous threats to local press freedom — Jon Allsop, Columbia Journalism Review
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